Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk praised the character and determination of the side’s second half showing in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
Pascal Gross halved the deficit at Old Trafford after Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford had fired the hosts ahead before the break, and the defender insisted that the side could be proud of their reaction after the interval.
He said, “We were all disappointed at the break and the manager spoke to us about that.
“We reacted well and that’s the positive to take from today [Saturday]. I thought we were excellent in the second half and if we’d played like that in the first then we could have easily got something.
“We felt we had to score next and we did, it gave us a boost, but it just wasn’t meant to be for us.”
“Last year we felt as though we didn’t perform against the top sides, but this season we’ve been in all the games and performed well.
“It’s about taking the next step now – that might mean getting the first goal and kicking on from there, but we have to look forward now.”
Despite a sustained period of late pressure, Chris Hughton’s men were unable to force a leveller in the north west and Dunk admitted that the first-half strikes were frustrating ones to give away.
“We feel disappointed because we lost the game in the first half, it’s a tough place to come as it is.
“They’re in good form but we showed good character in the end, but we’re a side that never give up.
“If we had one more chance then we could have got something – they’re both poor goals to concede because other than that they didn’t create too much, and we felt quite comfortable.”
The academy product led the side out for the contest and looked comfortable and assured throughout, and he insisted the occasion is one you have to relish as a professional footballer.
“I really enjoyed the game despite the result, these are the days that you become a footballer for – playing in one of the best stadia in the country.
“You have to enjoy it as much as you can and show what you can do, and that’s all I have to continue to do.
“Growing up as any young player you dream of playing in occasions like this one, and I just want to carry it on for many years to come.”